tv CNN Special Report CNN February 17, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
the met. significant facilities. >> maybe air p&p will catch on and we'll use each other's toilets not remembering when we just held it on the ridiculist. thank you for watching. see you for another "360." witnessed: the assassination of malcolm x starts now. to many, he was the voice of reason. never afraid to challenge why the establishment of the cruelty black americans faced. to many more though, his efforts to end it opened up more wounds than they healed and no one more aware of the tension around him and within him than the man himself. in 1965 after a very public split with the nation of islam and its leader, elijah muhammad,
malcolm x under constant threat under watch by the fbi, cia and said many times he knew his life would soon be over. neither his fate nor his role in history was preordained. not just about how it ended but who he was and why he was killed. >> i don't worry. i tell you. i am a man who believed that i died 20 years ago. and i live like a man who is dead already. i have no fear whatsoever of anybody or anything. >> i feel as though he knew his life was in extreme danger. >> malcolm is tired. physically exhausted. he has been on the road. he has spent a lot of time trying to hold fast to his closest supporters and loyalists to get them to go along with him on this journey of his evolving on ideas, on race, on
revolution, on self-determination. his family is under siege. there are these skirmishes between followers and various people from the nation of islam. >> he foolishly acts. and try to make war against me. >> there are these articles being written in the newspaper of the mohammed speaks having him condemned as a traitor suggesting he's worthy of death for his betrayal and would be met with death if not for the mercy of elijah mohammed. >> we were well aware that his life was in danger. >> the media made malcolm this fiery, angry person. when in actuality, he was reacting to all of the injustice around him because he was a man of great compassion, of love. someone who was clearly
brilliant, clearly dedicated, impeccable integrity, and who was in a rush because he knew he was going to be killed. he said, you know, i am probably a dead man already. >> he felt and saw his mortality. he felt like these days ahead of him were going to be cut short. >> is your life in danger from the muslims and elijah mohammed's group? >> elijah mohammed has given the order to his followers that i am crippled or killed. >> he gives out this hearsay information. i am certain, he would have gotten death long ago instead of time running around to talk about it. he knew that he is guilty of things that many men for. so his fight against the messenger is, in fact, a fight against the god that sent the messenger. >> the night of february 13th,
malcolm, in his home in queens with his wife and four children was awakened by an explosion. someone had thrown a molotov cocktail into the windows. >> what irritated him is things descended to the level somebody was fire bombing a house with innocent, sleeping children in it. >> if anybody can bomb my house, they can put a rifle bullet through my head. it was my wife and children's lives at stake. >> it was a stressful time for him and still decided to press on. he scheduled a rally for february 21st in 1965. >> for the first time, to me, he looked a little down. and i don't ever remember him down before, even in the most dire circumstances.
>> chief, could you describe what happened here today? >> at about 3:15 p.m., there were about 400 persons present in the ballroom here representing an organization known as the afro-american unity organization headed up by malcolm x. and malcolm was addressing the audience from the speaker's platform. >> and he raised his hand in the muslim greetings like this. his right hand. at that point, a rumbling broke out behind us. >> i heard somebody shout, kill him. apparently, two men approached the speaker's room and discharged shots at him from apparently very close range. >> as i turn around quickly and next thing i saw was malcolm
falling down in a dead faint. >> my mother threw herself over her babies. and she yelled out, they're killing my husband. >> i heard shots. and i saw people crawling on the floor. i saw -- and so i got down too. and then when i was looking out and i saw someone look in amazement to the front, i knew they had shot my husband. >> sustained one shot in the lower right shin and the other six hit him in the chest and the body. >> i looked out at him and said, he's going to die. i kept saying to myself, he's going to die. he's going to die. >> immediately? >> no, he wasn't dead immediately. but expired there very shortly. >> malcolm is dead. this is when they assassinate
the president of the united states. >> the assassination of malcolm x was an unfortunate tragedy and it reveals that there are still numerous people in our nation who have degenerated to the point of expressing sin through murder and without being violently disagreeable. >> one of the best. he gave a whole bunch of little boys, negros and colored folk, an opportunity. >> j. edgar hoover sent a memo to new york office that explicitly stated, do something about malcolm x. we don't know what he meant by that. daughter: do you and mom still have money with that broker? dad: yeah, 20 something years now. thinking about what you want to do with your money?
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they copy his immoral social habits. >> malcolm little was born into a family of activists. his parents, earl and louise. drew on pen africanism, promoting pride. >> the world has made being black a crime. i intend to make it a virtue. that the world has said black history is a curse. that black freedom is a pipe dream, a black hope. it's a joke. >> father, hopper earl, was a young garveyite. a minister. it was during the gym jim crowe era and learning to be
self-reliant, independent. stand up against injustice. it was during a time when lynchings were prevalent to say the least. and so my grandfather was assassinated also tied to the trolley tracks. >> malcolm's mother, louise, was unable to keep the family together. so she had a breakdown. social services came and split the family up. sent malcolm and his siblings to various foster homes. malcolm went to a white foster home and attended a predominantly white and secondary school. he was popular in school. he had charisma, even as a child. his classmates voted for him to be class president. >> most often, he was the only person of color in his school. and when he was i think about 12 years old, he did tell his favorite teacher, mr. astrowski,
that he wanted to be a lawyers. his teacher said negros can't be lawyers. he should be a carpenter, use his hands. >> in school, his half sister, in boston, tried to get him to visit her to kind of get her on track. malcolm went to visit ella in boston and was completely taken by urban culture. and was attracted to the hep cat movement. and jazz and the dancing and the clothes and the fashion and he gradually adopted this persona that became known as detroit red. as detroit red, malcolm drifted further away from the garvey roots of his family and to petty crime.
>> he was a gangster, he was a hustler. so those early years did expose him to some of the darker precincts of the black condition. >> malcolm hatched a plan to engage in a series of breaking and enterings. he took some of the merchandise to a pawnshop and when he retrieved a watch, the police were there to arrest him. while malcolm in prison, his family intervenes. his family had not given up on him. his brother began preaching to him and i think preach really to malcolm, well, we have found these teachings of islam. they remind of what our parents taught us in terms of black people need to do for self, need their own institutions and need
to be morally upright. >> elijah mohammed almost became like a surrogate father to him. and he truly believed in the work that elijah mohammed was doing and it was very similar to the work that his father was doing. >> i think a lot for you, always will. to go anywhere that i go. >> i was in prison. i was a very wayward criminal backward illiterate, whatever characteristics you can think of kind of person until i heard the teachings of the honorable elijah mohammed and because of the impact it gave me in a desire to reform myself and rehabilitate myself for the first time in my life and also being able to see the effect that it had upon others, this is what made me accepted. >> it was the love of elijah mohammed in that sell and the
folk from transformed him from malcolm little the gangster into malcolm x the greatest truth teller we've known about the black condition in the 20th century. >> prior to hearing what he teaches, i had no interest whatsoever in anything serious or any kind of educational pursuits. >> when malcolm came out of prison in 1952, he, you know, met elijah mohammed. elijah mohammed invited to stay with him and studied for a period of time. there was something about malcolm. some people just have this kind of magnetism when they walk in a room, everyone starts focusing on them. malcolm just had this kind of charisma. >> he knew how to talk to people. he could speak to them in a way that made things very clear. it was easy to believe what he was saying. because i was living it every
day. >> america was in the middle of a so-called civil rights movement. >> if you're going to talk about him, you have to understand that very clearly. >> there are people being literally murdered, hung from trees. >> in the southern states of this country, that was terrorism going on. >> shot arrested. that's the only way you can describe it. terrorism. people were being killed. bombed out of their homes. >> having dogs sick on them. >> if a dog is biting a black man, the black man kill the dog. when the black man is doing nothing but trying to advantage of what the government is supposed to, the black man should kill the dog or any two legged dog who sicks the dog on him. >> malcolm x did something very rare in the history of black leadership. every mention of the word integration by whites, he viewed
whites' fears, insecurities and anxieties as an afterthought. >> on down to the mouth of the white liberal in the street -- >> malcolm viewed white fears and anxieties as tertiary. what was the center was the need for black awakening. >> we believe that separation is the best way and the only sensible way, not integration. >> that puts him radically against the mainstream and white america. >> malcolm could speak in a way that resonated with people in those settings. >> there is nothing that the white man will ever do to bring about true citizenship, or civil rights recognition for black people in this country. nothing will they ever do.
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>> i didn't have to go to court to be called murphy or jones or smith. >> taken up to church pulpits, sports arenas and platforms to preach a gospel of hate that would set off a federal investigation if it were preached by southern whites. >> i referred to the popular belief that the muslims preach a hatred for the white race. you do not subscribe to this. >> never heard elijah mohammed for hatred. he has hatred against evil. >> malcolm was a lightning rod. because articulates and giving voice to an alternative political strategy. >> we are for separation, not segregation. >> for many white people, it's called an uppity black man. that's a black man who does not accept the position that they have decided. that he should have in this
country. >> segregation taught by the elijah mohammed forced upon inferiors by superiors. >> to them, brother malcolm was an uppity black man. and they december pispised him >> separation done by two equals. >> who taught us to hate ourselves, he was talking about how we know of the history of the world was incorrect. >> the subject you preach, like the white man. who taught you to hate the shach of your nose and the shape of your lips? who taught you to hate yourself from the top of your head to the feet? who taught you to hate your own kind, to hate the the race that you belong to? >> i began to follow him. i began to listen.
i began to read books. i began to understand and believe in and he gave me a perception on how to view this country. >> it seemed then that preaching hate to meet hate, i don't advocate any kind of hate. >> he absolutely believed in the nation of islam. he thought that was one organization that would help to get black people back on their feet. >> brothers and sisters. >> some day, the negro is going to wake up and try to do unto the whites as the whites have done to us. but also puts him against mainstre mainstream. that's why he had trouble with the black leaders of his day. >> martin luther king teaches to love white people no matter what they do to you. and sick dogs on them, sick dogs on their children, women, and their babies. >> when he looks at america, he looks at the record. whereas most of the white mainstream and black mainstream
leadership look at promise and possibility. malcolm x is exactly the opposite. >> king is talking about a dream. malcolm is talking about a nightmare. it means that no matter what the negro does, he is not going to get along with whites. i think the whole philosophy is more intelligent than mr. king's. >> he is not someone who would hold his tongue in criticizing the preacher class, the black religious leadership. >> today's gathering the largest in washington's history. >> he was very critical of established black leaders. >> in the band is martin luther king. >> and of their strategies. so, many people shied away from him because of that. malcolm was very critical and dismissive at the time when people were s.
>> the president said everyone must be impressed in the faith in democratic form of government. >> malcolm came as an observer and called it a farce on washington, an event that had been coopted by the government, that had been coopted by labor. that leaders of the civil rights movement had been essentially bought off. >> i think the support reflects a desire on the part of our people in this country to try a new approach, a new analysis, a new approach to get a solution now, not ten years from now. >> martin's response to malcolm was very much like many of our response to malcolm. here is somebody who is saying in public what black people often said in private. just how ugly and how vicious and how barbaric the treatment of black people have been. >> we're taught anytime, anyone
in any way inflicts or seeks to inflict violence upon us. we are within our individuals rights to retaliation in self-defense to the maximum degree of our ability. >> as malcolm became popular -- >> these are par rots put in front of the negro community. >> in a public outside of the nation of islam. this increased tensioned. >> by any means necessary. >> inside the nation of islam. >> try a new approach. >> people in the media began identifying him as the leader or as a leader or as the arab parent. this was threatening to a full range of people in the nation of islam who maybe wanted to be the arab parent. theological space was widening between malcolm and elijah. malcolm, whenever he spoke, muslims would come up to him and
says this is not islam. islam does not see race. islam is color blind. the way you view elijah as a prophetic figure is counter to islam. >> in the name of allah -- >> was malcolm finding out about elijah mohammed's domestic life. >> when malcolm found out that elijah mohammed had fathered these children outside of his marriage to clara, many of these women were women who had worked for elijah mohammed in some capacity as a secretary or other way. >> malcolm did have a blind faith in elijah mohammed, who so fundamental
fundamentally from the mud and went into emotional shock. >> this was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak, in terms of malcolm's faith and elijah mohammed as a model. as a moral leader. nancial psychic, i'm sure you know what this meeting is about. yes, a raise. i'm letting you go. i knew that. you see, this is my amerivest managed... balances. no. portfolio. and if doesn't perform well for two consecutive gold. quarters. quarters...yup. then amerivest gives me back their advisory... stocks. fees. fees. fees for those quarters. yeah. so, i'm confident i'm in good hands. for all the confidence you need. td ameritrade. you got this. why do we do it? why do we spend every waking moment, thinking about people? why are we so committed to keeping you connected? why combine performance with a conscience? why innovate for a future without accidents? why do any of it?
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his rendezvous with grim destiny begins a little after noontime. death less than one short hour way. >> on november 2nd, 1963 -- >> something is terribly wrong. >> -- john f. kennedy was assassinated. >> health reports say the president was hit in the head. >> from dallas, texas, the flash apparently official. president kennedy died at 1 p.m. central standard time. 2:00 eastern standard time. >> as malcolm felt himself growing estranged from elijah mohammed and from the nation of islam, malcolm and the muslims in new york had planned a major event. >> the president's body met by important servicemen. >> elijah mohammed was scheduled
to speak. after kennedy's assassination, elijah was like, no, i'm not doing any public speaking. i'm cancelling that event, and the ministers in the nation of islam were instructed to not comment on kennedy's assassination. malcolm gave the speech. he did not comment on the assassination. >> you see, he was very clear that elijah mohammed always wanted to steer clear of any confrontation. >> when malcolm opened up to question and answer, the reporter asked him what his thoughts were on kennedy's assassination and malcolm, you know, he gave this really thoughtful response about violence. he said, when you have a climate of hate, you're going to get back hate. so if we're putting out so much hate and we're teaching our children and our nation to hate, then you're going to get all of that back. he said, this is a case of
chickens coming home to roost. >> speaking for himself and not muslims in general. and malcolm has been suspended from public speaking for the time being. >> so when he attacked the u.s. nations state in the form of, you've got violence in your history, it's now come back visited on your young darling, jon f. kennedy, that was the worst thing that he could have said from elijah's point of view. >> while this was happening, kashs clay was training for his upcoming championship fight with sonny. he was exposed to the nation of islam. he invited malcolm to come to miami for a vacation. like, he knew malcolm was on this period of silence. he said bring your family. >> my father was his mentor. malcolm makes a few statements
to the press. he kind of violates his violence. >> i have been suspended because of statements i made from the president of the united states, which were distorted. >> what did you say, malcolm? >> i said the same thing. his assassination was the result of the climate of hate. only, i said the chickens came home to roost. which mean the same thing. >> you did not say you were glad the president was killed. >> no, that's what the press said. >> a couple days later, the muslim annual convention. >> malcolm thought he would be allowed to come to savior's day and maybe speak, this would be the period of reconciliation. thought, i have cashios clay. the world is looking at him. clay sin invited to savior's day. >> since i was a muslim, not because i'm elijah mohammed -- >> he's been a prominent place in the program. >> this is a golden muslim
mosque that was presented to me by the islamic council. >> not invited, malcolm isn't asked to speak. he pretty much feels shut out. he would say over and over again, any religion that does not allow me to be in power, to speak and work on behalf of the freedom of black people, i'll let that religion go. >> and basically said i'm about to leave the nation of islam. >> this, of course, was met with great anger and resentment by many in the nation of islam. >> muslim have excommunicated and are done with him. unless he wants to come back in line with the teachings and the moral principles of islam and the follower of the the honorable elijah mohammed. >> when he was out, i knew something was wrong. so i called him up the next day
and he came over. we spent days talking. we decided, we knew they wouldn't let him back. we have to set up an organization to do what we can for black folks. >> while all of this is happening, malcolm is in need of a recentering of himself, spiritually, politically, and he decided to make the pilgrimage to mecca. >> we had seen it before. there was something about '64 where he had seen the same thing. just seen it through different eyes. he had already seen black and white people come together. he was just still tied to a blind faith in elijah, so he didn't allow it to penetrate it so. >> he realized how much of islam he didn't know ritually. the actual experience of the ritual was overwhelming and transformative.
>> he went to mecca and reported that the religion of islam is a religion of brotherhood that includes all mankind. it caused a great deal of wrath in the heart and mind of elijah mohammed who has been teaching that the white race is a race of devils. >> the tensions at home are amping up with the nation of islam in part because of some of malcolm's words, right? and the attention he's receiving from law enforcement, from the fbi, domestically, from the cia internationally. it's also increasing. >> but he also knows that the nation of islam is very upset with him. >> why are they threatening you, elijah? >> well, primarily because they're afraid that i will tell the real reason that they've been, that i'm out of the black muslim movement which i never told. i kept it to myself. but the real reason is because
elijah mohammed, the head of the movement, is the father of 8 children by six different teenage girls who were his private personal secretary. most of the products we all buy are transported on container ships. before a truck delivers it to your store, a container ship delivered it to that truck. here in san diego, we're building the first one ever to run on natural gas. ships this big, running this clean, will be much better for the environment. we're proud to be a part of that. dad: he's our broker. he helps looks after all our money.
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condition that will guarantee respect and recognition of the 22 black americans as human being beings. >> how? >> any means necessary. >> it was an incredibly high pressured time for malcolm. as malcolm's mind was expanding, as his world view was expanding, the space he was occupying was shrinking. valentine's day, a molotov cocktail is thrown into the nursery of our home, my parents' home where my father's four babies slept and of course, my mother was pregnant with twins. >> i became frightened for him and his family because this was the first time that i could recall the direct attack, not only on him but his family. >> if you attack me, that's one thing. i know what to do when you start attacking me, but when you
attack sleeping babies. >> that's actually where that picture of my father with the rifle came from. he couldn't get protection and he said, if i can't get anyone to get protection, and he said if i can't get anyone to. >> it was a stressful time for him. and he still decided. he was going to get the forman plan of action. >> when he arrived, parked his car about two blocks away. let him know he was arriving and he walked up broadway to the audubon. just made himself a perfect target and he knew better. he saw me, said, brother, when you get backstage, i want to talk to you. >> i checked my equipment, set
up my microphone and all that. and then i came back in and he said he wanted me to go and make a phone call. he said, do any of you know what reverend looks like? i said i do. he said go out front and when we comes in, bring him backstage. so i said okay. he insisted that i go make this telephone call. have to get this stuff set up. just stopped, look right at me, said to make the phone call. >> i sat in the front row. i think i was third from the aisle. >> he insisted i get out of
there. be out the building where the telephone booth was. he was out there. somebody shouted, get your hand out of my pocket very loud. and then a little bit of a tussle and malcolm responded by holding a hand up, something like hold on, hold on there, brothers. >> while i was in the telephone booth, i heard the shots. i ran into the audubon ballroom and people were running out by this time and they were screaming and crying and cursing. >> my mother put her body on top of us. she covered her babies. because there was the shooting. >> i don't know how many shooters are in there. i mean, this is while the smell of gun smoke is still in the air i'm crawling. my mind is focused on doing my job. >> in the audubon >> i'm in the ball room.
pandemonium is the only word i can use to describe the scene here. i was sitting in the first row and malcolm game on the stage and greeted the audience with a muslim greeting. as soon as he said it, i can't describe it. someone got up and fired shots. >> you could see a crowd over malcolm um on the stage. and i ran down, up on the stage. i still had my camera with me and i kept shooting pictures. >> someone opened the shirt and i saw all the bullets in his body. and i said to myself, he is going to die. because he was gasping. >> i should have never happened. it was the saddest moment of my life. 'cause we failed him. tried to help.
>> i started talking to everybody i could to have them reiterate from their perspective what had just happened. what they thought about it. >> i heard the shots. i ran forward. i saw malcolm hold his side and hold his stomach and fall down. >> how do you feel now? >> i want to kill somebody. that's right, i want to kill somebody. and 40 nights over, if malcolm dies, somebody inc. go die. >> there was a noise, and then the two fellas, one was a black muslim. i don't know who the other was, i didn't see him. ran and started shooting and everybody fell to the floor. >> they were black? >> yeah, they were black muslim. i recognized him. >> how do you not -- i was standing there by the tape recorder with my back to the
audience. and they started shooting, i would have been shot in the back. >> and stretch from the columbia hospital, right across the street. they just took a stretcher. put him on a stretcher and rolled him out to the hospital. >> the only person that was caught at the scene was thomas hare. >> i believe if he had not been shot in the leg and had not been beaten up by those who loved malcolm, he would not have ever been arrested. he could have gone free just like the rest of the killers. >> evidence points that the point that hare was the only person convicted for malcolm x's assassination that had a part in it.
>> malcolm is the victim of his own preaching. he preached violence and so he became the victim of it. >> norman butler and johnson initially identified as co-conspirat co-conspirators. he later recanted. there was no physical evidence that connected them to the assassination. it was all circumstantial. no one remembered seeing them
there. >> clearly he posed a threat to the government. posed a threat to the nation of islam. he posed -- it's so unfortunate. >> you do not personally feel that anyone -- any member of the brotherhood of islam committed to crime? >> no, no, we don't do a thing like that. >> that summer of 1964, j. edgar hoover sent a memo that said, do something about malcolmx. we don't know. there are thousands of pages of fbi files that yet to reveal for us to know. >> there is no doubt that the after life of malcolm x after
malcolm x had more impact. people began to see the truths he told. the love he displayed. the courage he exemplified, the vision for humanity he was after. >> and what was silenced was a man, a black man, who had thoroughly studied the system that existed in this country. who understood it very clearly and who was developing a cohesive plan to deal with it. >> there will come a time when black people wake up and become intellectually independent enough to think for themselves. >> his voice predicted the urban rebellions in 1968. his voice predicted the growing frustrations that african-americans would feel as it's slowed to a halt.
he predicted the police brutality. the growing frustration of black youth who had almost given up. >> malcolm was a young man when the world around him, just in his 20s. he was killed at 39. and, you know, this man made a significant impact all around the world. in just 12 short years. >> what attracted me the most, we knew we could trust him. no matter the operation, he couldn't abandon us. we came in together, we were all going to go out together.
we will get answers to all the questions about the death malcolm x. and first, the search of the truth. with american snipers going for oscar gold, new revelations in the real life trial. what the man said as he sate in the back of a patrol car. and what aaron hern deds was doing in his attorney's car at 2:00 in the morning in a police station parking lot. and isis, showing 20 christians beheaded. why is ark holder say